SHANE REVEALS PRESSURE OF FAME LED TO OUTBURST; Living in the public eye is hard and I've had off days but I am a nice guy.
Now the Boyzone singer is begging fans to understand the pressures of fame which drove him to leave the country to set up home in England.
He said: "Being in the public eye is a 24-hour a day job, apart from when you're in your own home.
"As soon as you step outside that door people expect you to be either A or B - nice or ignorant.
"But they shouldn't judge people without understanding the whole picture. It's the wrong way to do it.
"I've come across many people who expect me to be a nice guy, but I'm only human.
"I have good days and bad days. So some people have been disappointed when they meet me.
"Or it has happened the other way round - they expect me to be ignorant because I'm supposed to be the bad boy of Boyzone.
"But they're surprised when I'm not like that.
"I'm a nice guy, I hang around with normal people, I drink in normal pubs.
"I'm happy on the whole with my situation. I've got my home and a bit of land.
"But when I step outside I expect the worst.
"People ask me the wrong question at the wrong time and they may not get the answer they want to hear.
"I can't get on with everybody in the world and not everybody can like me.
"I'm self-employed now. We employ everyone around us so I can do and say what I want.
"I'm my own person at the end of the day."
Last night, his manager Peter Griffiths backed him up.
He said: "Shane stands by what he said. He hopes that when people read how he feels they will get a sense of what the boys have really been through back home."
Shane's colleagues Ronan Keating, Stephen Gateley and Mikey Graham have all gone on to solo success and Keith Duffy is now enjoying a new career as a TV presenter.
But Shane has spent the last year indulging his passion for motor racing and admitted his life is now at a crossroads.
He said: "I'm only 24 and I don't know what I want to do - whether or not to get into motor racing professionally.
"I'm definitely getting there and I'm four races away from getting my full track licence.
"You don't get many celebrities involved in motor racing at that level. And I am in talks with a few teams to do a professional season in sports cars next year.
"But I still enjoy the music. It pays the bills. I couldn't enjoy doing all the things I do now if it wasn't for Boyzone.
"Originally I didn't want to go solo. But now things are changing.
"A few people have come to me with new ideas and it's looking good. I might just put a record out.
"But record companies just want something middle of the road.
"They don't want something a bit tongue in cheek, a bit brave, that takes the p**s.
"So me and Keith have recorded a Milli Vanilli song - Girl, You Know It's True.
"They didn't do their own tracks, some people say we don't do our own tracks - soo let's take the p**s. I don't give a b*****ks.
"I'd also like to do a TV series like Don't Try This At Home - something with a bit of adrenalin. We're working on a few ideas like that."
Shane is now filming a TV series at various locations around Britain, test driving different kinds of vehicles.
Last week, he qualified for a motorbike licence and spent a day racing superbikes at Donnington race track in Leicestershire.
Yesterday, he learned about driving rally cars and today he will be driving tanks in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
He is in negotiations to secure a professional seat for next year's two-seater sports car season with Lotus and Vauxhall believed to be interested in signing him.
Meanwhile, Boyzone boss Louis Walsh distanced himself from the row caused by Shane's anti-Ireland outburst - and said he should come back home.
But Louis, who plucked the 17-year-old mechanic from obscurity, said he found his comments outrageous.
Speaking from London last night, he said: "If Shane doesn't like Ireland anymore, that's his opinion.
"But it's not mine. If Shane feels something he says it.
"He won't give in easily but he should come back to try and live there.
"Sinead O'Connor and Bono and other stars still live in Dublin and they love it.
"There's no bulls**t, everybody's treated equally. Many British stars have moved over to Ireland because of the friendly reception.
"And there's so much talent for one small city in Ireland. It's not perfect, but it's perfect to me.
"But Shane's a nice guy and I get on with him really well. If I picked the band all over again I'd still choose him."
Two weeks ago Ronan Keating also slated his hometown, branding Dubliners "bitchy and ignorant".
But Louis said: "Ronan was totally misinterpreted in the press. I know he loves Dublin and he loves living here."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Aug 10, 2000|
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